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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Finally Tulsi departs from the serial

Which serial am I talking about? Well, for watchers of the Indian serial drama, there will be a number of people who know exactly what I am talking about, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, one of the longest running serials (if not the longest running serials) on Indian TV. And one of the biggest stars to emerge from this serial has been the character of 'Tulsi', the daughter-in-law who holds the entire family together. The characters has been incredibly popular across the world. As an example, Afghanistan runs a dubbed version of the series, and feedback is that even though the portrayal is typically Indian, it is reasonably clear to some of the situations in other societies.
The character of Tulsi so far had been played by Smriti Irani, who has been in the serial for around 40 plus years of her life (the serial has gone through two 20 year leaps), so she has played a young bride, going on to play a grand-mother. Smriti Irani has become very known and popular through this serial, in fact going on to become a politician representing the BJP.
And now? Well, intense media speculation is that Smriti Irani's efforts to turn into a producer herself (serials: Thodi Se Zameen Thoda Sa Aasman and Viruddh) has made the relationship between her and Ekta Kapoor ( the creator of the K serials of Balaji Telefilms) rocky, and led to her exit from KSBKBT (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi).
So, ever since rumour of the exit started making the rounds, the serial started moving into a different direction. Tulsi started getting into more scraps with her family, people who were sympathetic to her started abandoning her, her bahus started hating the way she controlled the family, etc. In some time, it started becoming clear that all the rumours were true, and the time has come for her exit. And this is what happened. Her 3 bahus, 2 of whom were true followers of her, got together, planned a series of steps against her (like the 3 evil witches of Macbeth) and then eventually got her admitted to an asylum, from where she tried to escape and apparently dies. So, the end of Tulsi.
Well, not actually, instead the idea was not to get rid of the character, but to get rid of Smriti Irani. So, 6 months passed by in an episode, and then the easiest way to get rid of an actor playing an important role happened. There was the need to have a plastic surgery (never mind that a plastic surgery only changes the face in Hindi serials or English movies such as Face Off; in reality a plastic surgery changes some of the elements in a face, and not the complete face). So, Tulsi is back, in the shape of Gautani Kapoor, who takes over as a thinner Tulsi (earlier speculation was that Padmini Kolhapure could be brought in to take the role of Tulsi).
Another thing struck me; are these serials so little planned in advance ? Not much of a story of what the serial will look like say in a year from now ? As an example, when Smriti Irani needs to depart from the show, around 2 months of serial time will go in planning the serial in such a way that each episode moves the serial towards a turn where Smriti can leave; 2 full months of aimless wandering around to get rid of an actor. Sounds strange, does it not ?
To watch some episodes of the serial, go to YouTube.

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